Page 1 of 1

Handover rental dispute

Posted: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 11:20 pm
by hjh
After moving out from our last unit, our landlord refuses to return back our security deposit, because one of the kitchen cabinet made of particle woods near the kitchen sink was damaged by moisture caused by leakage. The leakage was caused by worn out silicone sealant, so water seeped through.
We discovered that a few months ago when dark-colored water appeared on the kitchen floor after cooking, and have reported to the landlord both broken sink and the damage to the interior of the cabinet caused by leakage. At that point, the landlord only wanted us to repair the sink at our own expense (the cost of repair is below $150, which should be born by the tenant according to tenancy agreement). But after handover, the landlord claims that we caused the damage by negligence and asks for reinstatement. The tenancy agreement does have a clause regarding fair tear and wear, and "damage beyond the control of tenant".

Particle wood deteriorates very fast when in contact with water, when we saw water appeared on the floor the damage was already done. We think that the damage is beyond the control of tenant, as the damage was not even visible from the outside of the cabinet, and the sink was fixed promptly when leakage was discovered (no negligence).
We are also ok with paying the first $150 of the cost of reinstatement. However, the landlord demands much more.

Is it worthwhile to bring the case to small claim tribunal? Going to sct would cost a lot of time and we might not win the case too.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 8:40 am
by PNGMK
You will win in SCT. Also the threat of SCT will cause you LL to negotiate a reasonable settlement.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:52 pm
by tt1973
Submit a claim via SCT online.

The SCT will likely rule in your favor, do you have any agent representing you? The agent will assist you.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 1:45 pm
by hjh
tt1973 wrote:
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:52 pm
Submit a claim via SCT online.

The SCT will likely rule in your favor, do you have any agent representing you? The agent will assist you.
Unfortunately, we do not have an agent. So we will have to do everything ourselves.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 1:53 pm
by PNGMK
Make sure the LL / agent knows you will go SCT. Remind them that it is common for SCT to award in tenants favour.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 2:46 pm
by tt1973
That's why it is better to have someone protecting your interest. Landlord's agent will always provide the Landlord and squeeze you dry during handing back.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Mon, 10 Aug 2020 9:49 am
by Cathd1928
You can easily file a small claims dispute online for $10 and without an agent. You will need To upload your passport for identification & attach supporting documents like receipts, pictures etc...All the best

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 8:19 am
by hjh
Cathd1928 wrote:
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 9:49 am
You can easily file a small claims dispute online for $10 and without an agent. You will need To upload your passport for identification & attach supporting documents like receipts, pictures etc...All the best
Thanks! I will definitely file a claim if the landlord insists on charging me an unreasonable amount. Singapore really needs a rental deposit trust. Does not feel like a smart nation if such a simple mechanism for protecting tenant rights does not exist.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 8:32 am
by PNGMK
hjh wrote:
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 8:19 am
Cathd1928 wrote:
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 9:49 am
You can easily file a small claims dispute online for $10 and without an agent. You will need To upload your passport for identification & attach supporting documents like receipts, pictures etc...All the best
Thanks! I will definitely file a claim if the landlord insists on charging me an unreasonable amount. Singapore really needs a rental deposit trust. Does not feel like a smart nation if such a simple mechanism for protecting tenant rights does not exist.
Most Singaporeans do not rent from private LL. The gahmen sees no need to protect foreign tenants. Before the SCT came along (about 20 years ago) it was a much worse situation. USing the SCT is a bit like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut but it works.

Re: Handover rental dispute

Posted: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:14 pm
by hjh
Most Singaporeans do not rent from private LL. The gahmen sees no need to protect foreign tenants. Before the SCT came along (about 20 years ago) it was a much worse situation. USing the SCT is a bit like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut but it works.
Exactly! Because I am also caught in a situation where the responsibility is shared among a few tenants. The lessee does not want to go through the trouble of filing with sct, but still wants everyone else to bear the loss of deposit. Maybe it is not a lot of money when the loss is divided equally, but I feel I should not let landlord take advantage so easily, especially in this case the responsibility of maintenance is clearly defined in our contract.